Home » 2000 Spring Break on Hunting Island

Jekyll Island, GA

Tuesday, April 25, 2000 - 4:00am by Lolo
147 miles and 3 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Boys in treesBoys in treesBack in the early late 1800s and early 1900s, you had to be pretty well-connected to even step foot on Jekyll island. At that time, the island was owned by a group of millionaires from up north, with names like Rockefeller, Morgan, Pulitzer, etc., who set it up as a very exclusive club and winter getaway. Even their own guests were only allowed to stay for two weeks.

However, those times are long gone, and now anyone can drive across the Jekyll Island Causeway onto this tiny barrier island off the coast of southern Georgia, which was bought back by the state of Georgia in 1947. The island is only about 7 miles long, but those are some pretty quality 7 miles. There are miles of white-sand beaches, three championship golf courses, and 20 miles of paved bike paths circumnavigating the entire island, which was the major reason we chose this as a destination.

Boys in front of cottageBoys in front of cottageWe checked into our campground on the northern tip of the island and had lunch before setting out on our bikes to explore the island. Oh yeah, before leaving, we were told to cover our vehicle mirrors with trash bags to keep the woodpeckers from pecking at the glass. We had never heard of such a thing before. I think it had something to do with male woodpeckers seeing themselves in the mirror and thinking it was another male invading their turf. Woodpeckers are no longer high on my list of intelligent animals. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if they ever were. The bugs at the campground were aggressive too, so we were pretty anxious to get moving and hopefully leave them behind.

The island was definitely very biker friendly and the well-maintained paths went by all the points of interest. We stopped at the historic district in the center of the island to see some of the "cottages" of days gone by and even partook of a little miniature golf. My favorite part of the ride, however, was the unpaved dirt section through the forests and marshes just south of the historic district, and then riding amongst the driftwood on the beach. At one point on the beach, I was huffing and puffing and falling quite behind Herb and the boys. Just as I was getting depressed about being two old to keep up with them anymore, I glanced down and saw that I had been riding on a flat tire. Rather than being upset about the flat, I was relieved that my slow pace was something fixable.

By the time we got back to the campground, it was quite late in the day, which was fine because there were just too many gnats to be able to sit outside. We were happy to find our vehicle mirrors still intact from the crazed woodpeckers.

Tomorrow we had a big day ahead of us--a dip down into Florida to visit St. Augustine and then the drive back north to our campsite on Hunting Island."


Jekyll Island, just off the coast of southern Georgia, is the state's smallest barrier island, with 5,600 acres of highlands and 10,000 acres of marshlands. It is connected to the mainland by the Jekyll Island Causeway.

Boys at sunsetBoys at sunsetThe island was once the winter playground of the rich and famous. In the late 1880s, a group of northern millionaires discovered Jekyll Island and bought it for $125,000. They built 15 to 25 room "cottages" (like Newport, RI) and set up the exclusive Jekyll Island Club. The members of this club (Rockefellers, Morgans, Pulitzers, Goulds, etc.) represented more than one-sixth of the world's wealth. The club was so exclusive that only members and their guests were allowed to set foot on the island. Even invited guests were limited to two week visits.

The Depression took its toll on the club members and by the time WW II broke out, the island was nearly deserted. In 1947, the Jekyll Island Club sold the property to the state of Georgia for $675,000. Today, many of the "cottages" of the former wealthy club members are open for tours.

The public now flocks to the island to enjoy its beautiful, white-sand beaches and its three championship golf courses. There are three public beaches on the island, all of which are free. None of these beaches have lifeguards, so it is swim at your own risk.

The flatness of the island makes it an easy place for family biking. Twenty miles of paved bike paths circumnavigate this 7-mile long island past almost every point of interest. There are also some unpaved roads and trails.

There is one campground on the northern tip of the island, just a short walk from the Clam Creek Picnic Area, Driftwood Beach and the fishing pier. The Jekyll Island Campground offers 18 wooded acres with 206 campsites, from tent sites to full RV hook-ups.

Jekyll Island location map

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